Higher Ed, Correction Departments in Line for Bigger Budgets

In 2011, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman kicked off the budget hearings, which have been webcast since the Bredesen Administration.

In 2011, Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman kicked off the budget hearings, which have been webcast since the Bredesen Administration.

Election Day also marks the start of this year’s budget season in state government. The Haslam Administration is asking departments to at least prepare for cuts of five percent.

Some parts of state government may get trimmed under Governor Bill Haslam’s proposal, even as tax collections continue to improve. He says the rise in revenue still leaves some holes.

“We’re going to have some additional costs from health care. We all know we need to invest some more in certain areas in departments where we’ve under-funded. I think higher ed – as we’ve said – both the post secondary all along the way needs some more investment.”

Haslam says the state also needs to make up for past cuts to the Department of Correction and add to the state’s rainy day fund, which was drawn down in the depths of the recession.

The governor’s annual budget hearings begin Tuesday with Education, Environment and Health departments. Haslam defended the choice to start on Election Day, saying by then, most campaigning will be over and done with.

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